Saturday, September 29, 2007

1504 backlogged emails from my vendors and modeling stand, all of which need to be entered into a spreadsheet.

Kids, record your sales soon after they happen. Don't let this happen to you.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thanks to everyone who's wished me well or expressed concern. I'm not taking a break from SL entirely, just from releasing (and to a lesser extent, making) things. I've got a plan for what I'm going to be eventually doing with my business.

I'm going to be getting my own sim, and I hope to open it sometime in January -- towards the beginning if I'm speedy, towards the end if I'm not. I'll need to talk to the other people in Nouveau about my existing plot, of course, since I don't want to just leave them with nobody to pay tier on a quarter of the sim. When it opens, here's what I plan to have it feature (in addition to my current inventory):

1. A remodeled build.
2. My revised eyes, with different collections to buy (like same tone ones) and a build your own collection option.
3. More Medievalish dresses, put together using bits and pieces of the dresses I've already made/been making.
4. More hair, with a focus on historical and fantasy styles.
5. A few historical and fantasy shapes.
6. Scripts for sale, if I ever finish those -- I'm beginning to feel like LL with Havok, here.
7. A small amount of men's jewelry.
8. An automatic rebate (anywhere from 15%-25%) for Miriel's Latest members for items on my new products wall.
9. My secret project: a puzzle game. This is what's going to cover the rest of the sim. I don't want to divulge too much, except that it's going to be unabashedly anachronistic, will include a prize (jewelry or otherwise) every time you complete a puzzle, will almost certainly be played using a HUD, and may be a little bit too dark, but hopefully not.

Miriel's Latest members will be given a preview of the sim before it opens to the general public, including the opportunity to play the game first.

Will all this help me make money? I don't know. I'm not pinning my hopes on the game, or on anything else. I've been wanting to do this for a while but was put off by the cost: US$300 a month is a lot to spend on a hobby. But it's occurred to me that making things in SL is one of the few things that I'm able to enjoy when my health is acting up (it's easy, and there's no pressure on me to make Great Art), so I'm just going to take the plunge. $300 a month is worth the lost unhappiness.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm going to be taking a break for... well, I'm not sure. A few weeks, probably. Sorry, guys, but there's RL stuff going on and it's just too hard for me right now.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Some of you expressed surprise when I said in my previous entry that my store does poorly, so let me clarify. By the standards of being able to pay my tier and go on SL shopping sprees, I'm doing fine. I have plenty of play money. But I'd been trying to make a living off this (my health isn't good RL and there isn't a whole lot else I'm able to do), and in order to do that, I'd need to make something like six to eight times more than I currently do. And what's worse, my business has only barely grown in a year. So by those standards, no, I'm not doing well.

(For the record, I've mostly given up on this goal -- I'm stupidly stubborn but not that stupid -- but there isn't a whole lot else I can do at this point. Plus, I'm not otherwise hurting for RL money, so I can afford to spend time on this.)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

In part of my neverending quest to discover why my business does so poorly, I was talking with a friend of mine. She suggested that I'd do better if I had a solid brand image. I'd like of thought I'd had one, but other people's perceptions are what matter here. So, if you've got a few minutes and don't mind answering: what's Miriel mean to you? Thanks.

Also, I'm redoing my eyes. I'm just cleaning up the reflection in them, so it looks bit less MS Paint.

Here's the old reflection:

And here's the new:

It's just a little neater, and sits a teensy bit higher on the eye.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dammit, I'm an idiot.

I set the expo auction boxes to go for too long -- 8.5 days instead of 7.5. I'll be fixing this as soon as the boxes send me their next update... which will happen at around 4:15 this morning. I can't believe I screwed up so badly. :(

The expo is winding down, and I just want to thank everyone who participated. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves, and got a lot of new customers. I also want to thank everyone who promoted the expo. Without either of you, this wouldn't have been possible.

I want to especially thank Jackal Ennui for doing the treasure hunt and catalogue; Tanya Book for helping with the planning and promotion; all of our sponsors, including OnRez; our DJ, Nexeus Fatale; and everyone who showed up at the planning meetings. Thanks, all. :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

I've started making some jewelry for men. This means, of course, that I need to take pictures of this jewelry being worn, which means I either need to a) hire a male model or b) get myself a male avatar. Given that I'm fussy and don't relish the idea of having to tell a model "no, that doesn't work, try this" or even "no, you don't have the look I want, I'm not hiring you," I chose option b.

This took a while. The male skin market is rather unimpressive at the moment and the sliders are, as always, a pain. (CJ very kindly gave me the old TaP male skins, but they were a bit too soft for me.) I had some nightmarish results along the way, particularly when switching between male and female avatars. Skin of one sex + shape of another sex = scary (unless you're Lucas Lameth). Behold:

Female skin, male shape.

Male skin, female shape. I didn't grab a snapshot of myself in a skin with chest hair, but I probably should have.

However, I did finally manage to create something nice. Hello, ladies!

All that's needed is some girly text and a swooning lady with a lot of cleavage, and you've got yourself a romance novel cover.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wow, I've won an award! :) My hairstyle Artist won Best Updo in the 2007 Savvy Awards. I just had a hairstyle I was working on crash and burn, so I guess this means I need to pick myself up and start over.

In totally unrelated news -- this is actually the blog post I was writing when I found out I won -- one thing I like to do is play around in the client menu. Mostly, I'm trying to find things that are either useful or that make the world look really trippy. Today, I struck gold.

Client > Rendering > Info Displays > Occlusion, then sit back and watch the world turn into a green wireframe disco.

Also, Client > Rendering > Info Displays > Pick Render. I, uh, hope you don't have epilepsy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This week's release from Miriel is a set of four hand drawn eyes, each based around the question, "If people naturally had eyes in wild colors, what would they really look like?" These eyes are flecked and muted, for an unnatural appearance with a twist.

They come in two sizes: the standard SL eye size, and a smaller, more realistic size. Available singly (L$50) or in a collection of all four eyes (L$125), and you can choose between copy/modify/no transfer and no copy/modify/transfer versions.

Want to check the eye sizes before buying? Demos are available.

Get them at my store at Nouveau 115, 205.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Well, most of the booths so far are now okay. There will be a few more I need to check and a couple people still need to fix things, but most of the booths on my big list now have "OKAY" written next to them.


I've got some ideas for how to do things next year. I'm going to do a chart of texture size equivalences, for instance -- I can't believe I didn't think to do one this year. My unpopular scrolling vendor policy is going up for a vote. I'll be keeping a waiting list, and I may use entrance fees to help weed out the unserious.

In terms of people getting angry at me, well, I've dealt. I know I've frustrated more than a few people with how I've been enforcing the rules, and I'm not thrilled about that, but at least I'm getting practice in handling it. I think the worst treatment I got, actually, wasn't even from an angry vendor -- and it didn't even make me angry so much as shock me (though, looking back on this person's previous behavior, perhaps it shouldn't have). It was with a jeweler who, after I sent them a note about a minor rules violation, very politely explained to me that they hadn't read the rules and had expected to break one or two. Even though I'm not overly upset, this seems more disrespectful than anything else that's happened so far; at least all those people who argued with me weren't treating my event as something so beneath them that they didn't even need to bother with the rules.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's open!

Come visit the Jewelry Exposition at OnRez Orientation 128, 128. Bring your money.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I have had a number of nice people offer to help me with the Jewelry Expo, and thus far my answer has mostly been some variety of "nah, I'm good." However, if you're a merchant, there is something you can do to help. Actually, three things. Are you ready?

1. Set your booth up as soon as you can. These things take maybe ten minutes each to check. If many people wait until the last minute -- something that will probably happen -- this makes a very bad Friday night for me. Thus far, I've only been able to give eleven booths the all clear -- eleven out of nearly ninety.

2. Follow the rules. I think at least half of the booths I'm checking have rules violations. This means I have to check the booth, send a stern IM, and then check the booth again later to make sure it's okay. I don't like doing any of those things.

3. If you don't understand the rules, ask beforehand. I know the rules are complicated -- if I do this again next year, they'll be simpler. But if you don't understand, please don't just toss prims around blindly and pray: if you get it wrong, I have to check your booth at least twice and send at least one IM.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Phew! The Jewelry Expo build is finally up. And no comments about how huge it is, okay?

Now I guess I need to start working on my own display.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A random collection of tidbits:

1. I've decided I'm going to be policing the Jewelry Expo exhibits myself, just because it seems simpler. Thanks to everyone who offered, though.

2. I'm slowly working on a big project. I'd like to have it done by the end of year, but who knows. Perhaps I'll come to my senses and quit before then.

3. I am sorely tempted to buy Genetica and Super Blade Pro. Especially the latter, since it does a pretty good job with reflectivity. I know I shouldn't, but anything that lets me get around my lack of artistic ability is something I want.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Okay, time for another question. What do you think of this picture as a product image? Too busy? Too much border? Actual images too small?

I think it's pretty, myself, but I've got concerns.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This week's release from Miriel is a set of four hand drawn eyes, each with stylized shading to make them appear liquid and luminous. They come in two sizes: the standard SL eye size, and a smaller, more realistic size. Available singly (L$50) or in a collection of all four eyes (L$125), and you can choose between copy/modify/no transfer and no copy/modify/transfer versions.

Want to check the eye sizes before buying? Demos are available.

Get them at my store at Nouveau 115, 205.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I'm going to try making my own trees. I will no doubt fail and wind up purchasing some of the Straylight ones (just like I fail miserably every time I try making skins), but it can't hurt to try.

I'm working on a portfolio to send in to development companies. I can't shake the feeling it's a waste of my time or that I'm going to screw it up, though.

I've also started working -- slowly, reeeaaallly slowly -- on a really huge project. It's distracting me from Jewelry Expo, though, so I need to put it aside for now.

On the jewelry front, I have a couple of really nice pieces that I'm making. One's done, and I'm working on the other. I think you'll like them, particularly the piece in progress (if the million tori in it don't make your framerate grind to a halt). I'm also trying to make some men's jewelry, but the male avatar neck is all icky, topography wise.

And let's not talk about my scripts.